The concept of "2 Faces 2 Every Story" is interesting at first. Open the cover of the album and you'll see both of II Face's personas: the Hustler and the C.E.O. The change is completely superficial (changing clothes), but is nonetheless an interesting concept. The album also starts with an interesting prelude with Face telling us to "pay attention" because he won't explain the name.
The problem with this is that the dual personality theme never really comes into play. There's no distinctive difference in character in any of the songs, let alone any Hustler or C.E.O. comparison. The whole thing is a fairly generic affair for a rap album – some party songs, some street songs, and a couple introspective tales thrown in. Maybe he thinks these distinctions mark his gimmick, but the tracks are no more different from each other than they would be with any artist.
This isn't to say that "2 Faces" is a bad album, it's just that the concept it's titled for never shows up. Aside from that disappointment, there isn't whole lot to be upset about here. After the introduction, "2 Faces" is 13 straight songs that are extremely consistent with each other. There's no definitive best or worst here, they all blend together really well to make an album that doesn't really let down or excite.
As stated before, "2 Faces 2 Every Story" is composed of party songs, street songs, and a couple of introspective tracks thrown in to break things up. Face does them all reasonably well, shifting moods without loosing character. He's strongest with more light-hearted material, "Back Up Out of My Way," with DJ Kool, has set the bar for these, and Face has an easy-going attitude about him that makes them work. He's almost as adept with boasts, as "Parkin' Lot" sees him calling out any fake person he sees.
However, it's the reflective songs that stand out the most, because they break up the bounce of the rest of the album that would otherwise get monotonous. When songs like "Time is On My Side" and "Act Like That" seem more poignant than they really are because they're such an obvious change of pace. They act a breather between the constant pace of the rest of the album, making it infinitely more enjoyable.
The problem is that not even the introspective songs are enough to keep the album from becoming extremely shallow. Nothing about the album holds up to repeated listens – the concept, beats, lyrics, and themes all seem rushed, good ideas with poor execution. Musically, "2 Faces" has nothing that's displeasing, but like the rapper, there's also nothing great about it. It all just passes as average.
All of this makes "2 Faces 2 Every Story" extremely hard to classify. It's not really a good-time or dance record, the beats aren't good enough. It's not a headphone record either; nothing that Face says is really extraordinary. It's just average in everything it does, and doesn't hold up to more than one listen.
Music Vibes: 5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10
Originally posted: December 4, 2007